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Next generation of talented athletes to be supported by Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme

Athletes speaking on stage at a recent Sporting Champions event

Up-and-coming athletes in North Herts are set to gain vital support as part of a sports talent development programme.

Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, now in its eighth year, has helped more than 5,000 athletes to achieve their sporting potential by providing free access to Everyone Active’s 230-plus leisure facilities.

This year, these include North Herts Leisure Centre, Hitchin Swimming and Fitness Centre, Fearnhill Sports Centre and Royston Leisure Centre.

Among the athletes accepted on the scheme in North Herts this year are:

  • Harry Arnold-Pepper, Para Swimming, who was recently selected for the Swim England National Youth Development programme 2023-2024. He also won a Silver Medal last summer at the British Junior Para Swimming Championships in 100m Breaststroke.
  • Hermione Mae Mellor, Tumbling Gymnastics, who finished in the top seven for her age group at the British Championships at the end of last year, gaining her a place, out of only six spaces, on the Junior GB Tumbling Team for 2024.

Alongside free access to Everyone Active centres, Sporting Champions will also receive valuable mentoring and guidance from an impressive panel of Elite athletes, some of whom look set to compete at Paris 2024.

The scheme’s all-star line-up of decorated Olympians and Paralympians includes Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova, Lutalo Muhammad, Richard Kilty, Lauren Steadman and Maisie Summers-Newton, while new to the panel for 2024 is GB sprint star Harry Aikines-Aryeetey*.

These Elite athletes will share their experience and expertise through group mentoring sessions, covering topics including mental wellbeing, nutrition, managing finances, social media and media training.

Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson will also continue to support the scheme through his role as an Ambassador, working alongside the Elite athletes to make sport more accessible within local communities.

Colin said: "I'm passionate about nurturing young talent and the Sporting Champions scheme goes above and beyond in this mission. With the Olympics and Paralympics taking place in Paris this summer, the programme takes on even greater significance in 2024. Seeing these future champions flourish fuels my excitement for what's to come."

The Sporting Champions scheme has poured more than £2million into young athletes across the country, proving its commitment to grassroots sporting excellence.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, no fewer than 30 Sporting Champions competed, taking home five gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

James Bliss, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme has been very successful in providing exceptional support to emerging talent and we are delighted to be supporting athletes from North Herts on their journey to success this year.

“It’s fantastic to see how the scheme has expanded over the years, now providing more than 1,000 athletes nationwide with access to top-quality training facilities and support.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with North Herts Council, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community. We hope to make a real difference to our athletes’ success and are excited to see what the launch of the scheme will bring.”

Sarah Kingsley, North Herts Councils Service Director – Place, said "We’re proud to support Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, which plays a vital role in nurturing and empowering young athletes in our community. This program reflects our commitment to fostering talent and making sports accessible to all. We look forward to seeing the positive impact it has on talented young athletes in North Herts."

To find out more about the Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, visit or follow @easportingchamps on Instagram. For further information on Everyone Active, visit

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